The Queensland Government is set to introduce key changes next
month to its security of payment legislation – the
Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004
The main reforms relate to the appointment of adjudicators,
reduced times for making a payment claim, extended times for
responding to a payment claim, provision of additional information,
and acknowledging the industry shutdown over the Christmas
Adjudication Registry of Queensland Building and Construction
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission
(QBCC) will establish an Adjudication Registry to
appoint adjudicators to cases. The registry will keep a list of
active adjudicators, with details of their skills, experience and
qualifications. Performance will also be monitored. This replaces
the current system which uses 7 commercially operated Authorised
Nominating Authorities, and gave rise to criticism of a perceived
bias towards claimants.
The QBCC will also amend the requirements for becoming a
qualified adjudicator, and implement continuing professional
Time for making a payment claim
Claimants will be required to make a payment claim within 6
months of completing the construction work, unless the contract
provides otherwise. This replaces the current timeframe allowed
under the BCIPA of 12 months.
A final payment claim must also be served within the period
provided for under the contract. If the contract is silent, the
default timeframe is within 28 days after expiry of the defects
Time for responding to a payment claim
A dual regime will be established where a payment claim will be
regarded as either 'standard' or 'complex'. The
type of claim will affect the timeframe for responding to a claim.
The claim will need to state whether it is a standard or complex
'Complex' claims are those claiming over $750,000,
latent conditions, or time related costs. A respondent will now
have 15 business days to provide a payment schedule, and 15
business days to provide an adjudication response. An adjudicator
can also extend the time for an adjudication response for a further
15 business days.
For 'standard' claims, a respondent will need to provide
a payment schedule within 10 business days, and an adjudication
response within 10 business days.
This replaces the current timeframe applicable to all claims,
being 10 business days for providing a payment schedule, and 5
business days for providing an adjudication response. This has
historically limited a respondent's ability to prepare a
thorough and detailed response, particularly in response to a large
Respondents to a 'complex' claim will be able to include
additional information and the reasons for withholding payment in
an adjudication response, where the information was not provided in
the payment schedule.
This aims to address industry concerns regarding the limited
time to prepare a payment schedule, where a payment claim may have
been prepared over an extended period of time.
Change to definition of 'business days'
The definition of 'business day' will be changed to
reflect the usual industry shutdown over the Christmas period. The
three business days leading up to Christmas Day will be excluded,
as well as up to 10 business days following New Year's Day.
This aims to avoid the opportunistic making of payment claims at
a time of year when key personnel and their advisers are likely to
The amendments have been approved by Cabinet, and are expected
to be legislated by 1 September 2014. The changes will only affect
construction contracts entered into after commencement. However,
all adjudication applications made on or after the effective date
must be made to the QBCC's new Adjudication Registry.
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